While I can change the subject with my mom, other patients there tell the truth.
When my 94 year old mother says she's going home, I can change the subject or just tell her I don't know yet but some of the patients at the nursing home will tell her that they are going to die there, they are not getting out ever. What do you do? I am not there all the time so I can't keep her from talking to people. She has dementia and does not remember a lot of things but sometimes when I go to visit she is sure she is going home that day and maybe it is coming from other residents since I heard one telling her that she would die there and told an other patient that she wasn't going home either.
Often, when dementia patients seek to go home, they are seeking a time and place before they were ill. Because of their cognitive limitations, they often don't understand that it's not safe for them to be unsupervised.
If your mom is sad, upset or agitated frequently, that is a symptom that should be discusaed with a doctor.
Rimrock, if your mother is being upset by particular residents, you can discuss that with the staff and ask how they manage inter-resident relationships. It could be that there is some wriggle room in terms of who she shares communal areas with, for example. But the actual topics of conversation aren't really something that anybody can control - the only certain answer would be to prevent her from socialising at all, which I assume you wouldn't want. The rest of it, I'm afraid, is just part of dementia territory: from time to time your mother will hear upsetting nonsense from other people, but then again she may also dish it out. Not much you can do except offer continuity and reassurance in her life, as you are doing. I'm sorry for it.
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